Saturday, September 30, 2017

Á la Moelle – Dishes Served With or Flavored With Bone Marrow. Á la Moelle on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Os à Moelle Pain Grillé 
Roasted marrow bones, with the marrow, served with toast.
Dishes cooked with the bones in slowly roasted chicken or baked fish, taste better than the same dish prepared bone free. That special taste comes from the marrow in the bones.  In French cuisine beef and veal marrow are behind the flavor and texture of many French dishes.  
The two most famous French dishes where marrow bones play a special part are:
Jarret de Veau - Jarret de Veau is the dish called Osso Buco in Italian. The jarret de veau is a cut across the bone from a veal shank. The bone in the center of this cut is a marrow bone. It is the heart of the flavor and texture in the dish. All that will be left after enjoying a well-prepared jarret de veau is a hole with a bone around it! The words for a bone with a hole in it in Italian are osso buco.
Jarret de Veau
Pot-au-Feu - Pot-au-Feu is France’s traditional and most famous, beef stew. Along with the beef will come poireaux, leeks; navets, turnips;  carrots, carrots; chou, cabbage ;  pomme de terre, potatoes and os à moelle, marrow bones.  
The words os and moelle on French Menus:
Á la Moelle – Dishes served or flavored with bone marrow.

À la Os - On the bone.

Moelle – Bone marrow. 
Os – Bone.

Os à Moelle - Marrow bones.
Dishes with added bone marrow on French menus:

Entrecôte Marchand de Vin à la Moelle – An entrecote, a rib-eye steak, prepared in the manner of a wine merchant.  In French cuisine, a wine merchant rates a red wine sauce made with beef stock. The words à la moelle notes the addition of bone marrow, and that means a richer and velvety sauce.   In this dish slices of bone marrow may also be placed decoratively on top of the steak.  (The same cut with the bone left in is a Côte de Bœuf in French, a bone-in rib-eye, or rib steak. The steak with the bone may look great but the short cooking time does not permit any flavor from the bone to reach the steak. Besides, rib bones are not marrow bones). 

Entrecote Bordelaise a la Moelle.
Note the slices of bone marrow on the steak.
Photograph by Monkey Business through Yay
Filet de Bœuf Cuit au Sautoir, Os à Moelle Rôti, Betterave Confite à la Badiane – A beef fillet, a  cut from the beef tenderloin, cooked in a sautoir frying pan and served with a roast marrow bone and a beetroot jam flavored with star anise.

French kitchens are filled with many different pots and pans and the sautoir is a wide shallow pan with straight sides. French culinary tradition encourages the inclusion of the name of the equipment used in a menu listing. (Outside of the kitchen a sautoir is a long necklace).

A sautoir.

Os à Moelle à la Fleur de Sel, Pain Grillé  Marrow bones served with fleur de sel, and toast.  Use the spoon provided, scoop the marrow from the bones, spread it on the toast, add a few grains of fleur de sel salt and then enjoy the classic way to enjoy bone marrow. (Fleur de sel, the flower of salt,  is the mineral-rich salt crystals taken from the top of dried sea-salt pans).

Marrow bones and toast.
Onglet de Bœuf, Echalotes au Vin et Os à Moelle -  A hanger steak, a UK skirt steak, prepared with a shallot, wine and bone marrow sauce.

Steak Haché à la Moelle A chopped steak flavored with bone marrow. Chopped steak is prepared in a manner similar to a hamburger; here with the added flavor and texture of bone marrow.
Bone marrow is high in monounsaturated fats which are considered good for you. They certainly are far better than trans or saturated fats. However, fat is fat, and French diners know to order these dishes sparingly.
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Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
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